What to do when the internet is wrong

The internet holds countless opportunities for disagreement. Bless it.

Watch in amazement as your buttons are pushed by wrong people all over the world.

Pinched. Tightened. Wound up.

Take a breath.

Who will be served by your outrage?

The world needs people who care – people who are willing to stand up.

But!

Direct engagement is not always useful.

I know, sweetheart. You want to do something, say something, right the wrong, set ‘em straight.

Sometimes that’s the thing to do.

Most times, all that big energy is better directed elsewhere.

Wash out your mouth with hope.

Amplify your love. Go make your art. Build stuff. For every grrr you read, link to ten hell yeahs. Point your world at what you do believe in.

Pollyanna? Head in the sand?

No, honey. This is discernment. Selective engagement.

In lieu of locking horns in small places, you might also like to:

Look for the hook. An oversized emotional response holds useful clues. Engage with your stuff. Let anger uncover your own concealed weapons. Dig deep.

Exercise your right to leave. Unsubscribe. Unfollow. Change the channel. Change the subject. Social media is not an endurance event.

Energy. Attention. Time.

These things are powerful. Fragile, too.

And when the lights come on at the end of the night, even the best arm wrestling match is still just two dudes in a bar.

18 comments

  1. Fabeku

    I adore you. Like crazy.

    This is deep down goodness. And crystal clear smartness.

    You are brilliant.

  2. Kylie

    You genius, you. I am so all about washing out my mouth with hope. Though it is terribly hard for me to say that without negative associations (with the better-known “soap” ending to that phrase). But then when I see “hope” instead of “soap”, it takes me by surprise an perks me back up.

    Yay hope!

  3. Michelle Russell

    “For every grrr you read, link to ten hell yeahs” should be on a bumper sticker. Just sayin. ;o)

  4. Bridget

    Oh Zen-at-Play-
    I love your advice to look for the hook.
    And I love positive dilution, linking to 10 hell yesses for the 1 hell no.
    I do.
    I am such a fan of direct engagement. Is there a way to directly engage with love? Maybe it’s the directly engaging with the same sort of negative energy that’s the problem?
    It is tight and constricting to encounter this stuff. Is there a direct, expansive way to respond?

  5. Elizabeth

    If anyone is interested in more cartoons like the one at the top of this post, you can find them at http://xkcd.com/. This one in particular was originally posted at http://xkcd.com/386/.

  6. Mary

    Thanks for a great reminder

  7. Susan T. Blake

    “Wash out your mouth with hope. Amplify your love. Go make your art. Build stuff. For every grrr you read, link to ten hell yeahs. Point your world at what you do believe in.”

    Love that. Thank you!

  8. Pingback: At Your Service

  9. Marianne

    When do I get to meet you?
    I want to soak up this kind of goodness in the flesh.
    Thank you, wise and wonderful.

  10. Deborah Weber

    A thousand-fold hell yeahs to you, you brilliant hope-inducing lovely!

  11. Pingback: The Friday List, 3/11/11 | Zebra Sounds

  12. Pingback: Friday Menagerie: Collection #27

  13. Pingback: Things I Learned This Week

  14. Sarah Lyford

    omgosh this has to be my #1 hell yeah! on the internet! So much truth. That cartoon ought to be changed to “I can’t, this is important.” “What?” “Someone is RIGHT on the internet.”

    And that someone is *you*! I wish you were my next-door neighbour xoxo

  15. Pingback: Monthly Missive: March | Wicked Whimsy

  16. Jessica

    Love this! Thank you. :)

  17. Pingback: Handle it like Hester Prynne: What it means to embrace your inner bad girl | Undefinable You

  18. Pingback: The battle for self-worth. : Diary of a 30 Something Wednesday's Child

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*